People keep telling me my Master-pet power exchange relationship is abusive. Help!

Question

I am a furry involved in a total power exchange Master/pet relationship, with myself being the pet. A bit more about my relationship: I live with my Master, who is also legally my husband (I am a submissive gay deer, and he’s my Alpha wolf). Our relationship is usually amazing, and I love being his. However, we get a lot of criticism from friends and family members who do not understand our relationship. I hate it when people call my wolf “abusive” or “controlling,” though I imagine it must look that way from the outside, for many reasons. For example, my wolf reads my texts, I have to ask him for permission to spend time with others away from him, and I’m not allowed to spend money without his consent. He’s even reading this email as I write it! Of course, I love that he pays such close attention to me, and I think it is incredibly hot that I am so thoroughly his. How do I defend my mate against unfair accusations and make people understand that this is what I WANT?

Received via email from Daisy Deer
(property of Zion Wolf)

Answer

Hello there, Daisy (and Zion, who I am sure is reading this too). What you describe is a situation I am incredibly empathetic towards, as I have been in your wolf’s position a number of times myself in relation to my own submissive partners. It can be incredibly frustrating to be accused of abusing someone you love, or of being overly controlling, when the terms of your relationship are something that you mutually decided you both wanted.

Unfortunately, convincing people who are unused to power exchange relationships that what you are doing is consensual and not abusive can be incredibly difficult. There are, however, a few things you can try.

First of all, I would highly recommend that you and your wolf sit down with each other to write out the terms of your power exchange relationship explicitly, in the form of a Master/pet Contract. When you do this, make sure to include a few key provisions. The first key provision is that the contract is voluntary and something that you chose to enter into of your own free will. The second key provision is that you have the ability to withdraw your consent, under whatever terms you and your Master agree to. In contracts I’ve read, some pets feel more comfortable being able to withdraw consent at any time. Others prefer to only have their contracts up for renegotiation after a set time period, from a week to a month or even longer. You and your Master can decide what works best for you here.

Now, once you have a contract written, this is a document you can point to when someone calls your relationship abusive, or coercive, or unfair, or whatever else they might choose to slander you with. You can tell them that, no, this is something I chose for myself, and something I enjoy, and if it ever became abusive, we both recognize my right to leave the relationship, under the terms we both agreed to.

If, after you explain your contract, whomever you are speaking with still insists your relationship is abusive and that your Master is too controlling, try using an analogy to drive home the point that your relationship is consensual: “You think I’m trapped in my Master’s cage, and yes, that is true. However, it is important for you to realize that this cage is one that I designed for myself, and it is very comfortable for me. Aside from that, I hold the keys to this cage, and I can let myself out if I need to. So, at the end of the day, am I really being caged at all?”

 
 

Make it clear that you and your wolf love each other and come into your power exchange relationship from a position of trust, empathy, and mutual understanding. Make clear also that your wolf pays attention to your feelings and doesn’t order you to do things that consistently serve no other purpose than to make you miserable — if he behaved selfishly in that way, you’d not choose to stay in the power exchange relationship.

Having said all of this, there will still be many people who cannot wrap their heads around the idea of a consensual power exchange relationship. The best way to handle these people is to ignore them — you can’t reason them out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into. If someone very important to you is one of these people, such as a best friend, a sibling, or a parent, you may have to tell them that they have two choices: They can accept that you’re an autonomous individual with personal agency who makes his own life choices and keep quiet about a relationship that they do not fully understand, or they can choose to cope with the loss of you and your Master from their lives. Hopefully, they’ll make the right choice and at least silence their objections, if not fully endorse the choices you have made for yourself.

Hope that helps! If you have any follow up questions or would like to ask us something else, leave a comment below or get in touch with us via our contact page.

 

Viro the Science Collie

Viro Science Collie is a PhD virologist and medical writer, experienced in teaching, technical communication, and writing for the public. He has been active in the furry community since 2012 and has been happily and ethically non-monogamous for much of that time. His interests include non-traditional relationship structures, technology, biological science, and tennis.